Contradiction between ESA and Evolution, thoughts?

sparker4

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On a completely different front I would like to pose a question for discussion. It is my argument that most environmentalists are probably evolutionists to a large degree. I may be completely off on this thinking, but I don’t think so. One of the main ideas behind evolution is natural selection and survival of the fittest. So if one believes in evolution and therefore by definition believes in natural selection and survival of the fittest, how can the same person fight for the reintroduction of a species that didn’t survive the cut by the fitter? This doesn’t just apply to wolves, but every species on ESA. It has always confused me how environmentalists want to play God in saving all these species from extinction, but believe in something that acknowledges that their extinction is part of the evolutionary process they claim to believer in. I would like to hear what others may think on this subject.

If this isn’t the right place for this topic, please move it to where it is appropriate. Thank you!
 

Big Foot

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Not sure it is warranted but I will take a swing anyway.

I am an environmentalist, sportsman and someone who believes in evolution.

Biological evolution has nothing to do with the eradication of wolves or most other critters currently endangered. The building you are currently sitting in which was built on a piece of land once occupied by one of these critters is the main cause. Genetic changes over many generations allowing a species to adapt to a changing natural environment is biological evolution. A few hundred years of human impact vs 1,000,000's of years of evolution is where you have run off track with your question in my opinion.

I can only laugh at the comment of "environmentalist wanting to play god"

Sparker - Do you believe in evolution? Do you believe in global warming?
 

mtmiller

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It has always confused me how environmentalists want to play God in saving all these species from extinction, but believe in something that acknowledges that their extinction is part of the evolutionary process they claim to believer in.

Wolves? Interesting.

How about how deer, elk, bison, waterfowl, etc...? Did God save these species or was it laws? Without protections, we do well killing everything tasty and anything that completes with us killing them.
 

sparker4

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Not sure it is warranted but I will take a swing anyway.

I am an environmentalist, sportsman and someone who believes in evolution.

Biological evolution has nothing to do with the eradication of wolves or most other critters currently endangered. The building you are currently sitting in which was built on a piece of land once occupied by one of these critters is the main cause. Genetic changes over many generations allowing a species to adapt to a changing natural environment is biological evolution. A few hundred years of human impact vs 1,000,000's of years of evolution is where you have run off track with your question in my opinion.

I can only laugh at the comment of "environmentalist wanting to play god"

Sparker - Do you believe in evolution? Do you believe in global warming?


Big Foot, thank you for your reply. I know very well what biologic evolution is and I agree with your definition of change under this definition. However, evolution is much broader than that. By definition, evolution is "the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed during the history of the earth". Does this not cover the development of our ecosystem with the influence of man and beast alike?

No I do not believe in evolution. Yes I do believe in global warming, but I do not attribute it to what most mainstream global warming activists do.
 

elkantlers

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I think it's safe to say that all hunters to some small extent are environmentalists. Most however are not the wack jobs you see on TV wanting to shut down all human interaction with nature.

I do think that all hunters need to be ecologists, which is not the same or anything near environmentalists.
 

James Riley

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I think smarter men than me, like Aldo Leopold, would argue that the environmentalist drive to protect species diversity and keep all the parts is itself the pinnacle of evolution. Wiping species out, on the other hand, is not evolution but, rather, something that will in turn wipe us out. It's the old thing about not shitting in your nest. So, it is the environmentalist who is the most highly evolved. Whether he succeeds will be determined by evolution. Maybe we will wipe ourselves out. I'm sure wolves aren't cutting in to our numbers to any substantial degree. And neither are environmentalists. Indeed, numbers aren't all they are cracked up to be. Quality over quantity, and all that.
 
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Nameless Range

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It is true that over geologic time, the majority of species that have ever existed have gone extinct. It is nothing short of obvious though, that the vast majority of the current threats of extinction that exist are related to human activity, and thus, warrant the utilization of the ESA.

On a side note, for someone not to believe in evolution requires one of two things:

1. An ignorance of the evidence.

2. A belief in the premise that the evidence the world gives us was in fact left to deceive us.

Basically though, your conclusion does not follow from your premise. Just because I believe that evolution is true, and that most species that have ever existed have gone extinct does not precede a conclusion that certain animals should currently go extinct.

Do you believe that everyone who has ever existed has died? If so, does it follow that we should just accept and let people die without intervention?

The answer is obvious.
 
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James Riley

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It is true that over geologic time, the majority of species that have ever existed have gone extinct. It is nothing short of obvious though, that the vast majority of the current threats of extinction that exist are related to human activity, and thus, warrant the utilization of the ESA.

On a side note, for someone not to believe in evolution requires one of two things:

1. An ignorance of the evidence.

2. A belief in the premise that the evidence the world gives us was in fact left to deceive us.

Basically though, your conclusion does not follow from your premise. Just because I believe that evolution is true, and that most species that have ever existed have gone extinct does not precede a conclusion that certain animals should currently go extinct.

Do you believe that everyone who has ever existed has died? If so, does it follow that we should just let people die without intervention?

The answer is obvious.

Sweet. I'll have to remember that.
 

JMG

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I think the hole in your thinking is that wolves and grizzly bears (other species too) were targeted by human beings for removal. You have to think back to the time and how people lived. Farming and ranching was how most folks made a living back then. The wolves and the bears preyed on domesticated livestock, thus they were killed. If the same intensity of hunting was put forth for elk and/or deer (for example) the same would be true of them being eradicated. Man purposely targeted wolves and grizzly bears for removal. There certainly is not the same number of any species when the settlers first arrive in North America. Many species have drastically declined since the white man arrived on the North American Continent. There use to be a type of elk that lived in the eastern U.S., but they were killed off.
 

sparker4

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Wolves? Interesting.

How about how deer, elk, bison, waterfowl, etc...? Did God save these species or was it laws? Without protections, we do well killing everything tasty and anything that completes with us killing them.

Laws, conservation and the fact that man, the fitter of the species, can co-inhabit with deer, elk, bison and waterfowl. These critters don't kill our livestock or decimate our deer and elk herds. When wolves start interfering with our livelihood they will be killed off, just as they were before. They don’t mix with people and population. I am not saying there isn’t a place for them and I am not saying I don’t enjoy seeing and hearing them in the wild, but denying the fact that they were exterminated because they didn’t fit into the settlement of our country is choosing not to address the issue. I am not in any way saying I agree with the extermination of them, but there is a reason why this happened and to re-introduce them without keeping a very tight rein on their numbers is just plain irresponsible.
 

sparker4

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I think it's safe to say that all hunters to some small extent are environmentalists. Most however are not the wack jobs you see on TV wanting to shut down all human interaction with nature.

I do think that all hunters need to be ecologists, which is not the same or anything near environmentalists.

Agreed!
 

Gerald Martin

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I think I made a wise choice to reconsider my original answer. Enjoy your debate boys. :) Two days max till this thread descends past the threshold of tolerated rancor and is toasted.
 

sparker4

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I think smarter men than me, like Aldo Leopold, would argue that the environmentalist drive to protect species diversity and keep all the parts is itself the pinnacle of evolution. Wiping species out, on the other hand, is not evolution but, rather, something that will in turn wipe us out. It's the old thing about not shitting in your nest. So, it is the environmentalist who is the most highly evolved. Whether he succeeds will be determined by evolution. Maybe we will wipe ourselves out. I'm sure wolves aren't cutting in to our numbers to any substantial degree. And neither are environmentalists. Indeed, numbers aren't all they are cracked up to be. Quality over quantity, and all that.

"drive to protect species diversity and keep all the parts" I would not call that environmentalism, I would call that conservationism. My opinion.

What do you mean "wolves aren't cutting into our numbers to any substantial degree". Do you mean our elk and deer numbers?
 

mtmiller

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This doesn’t just apply to wolves, but every species on ESA.

Cool, what other species do you have in mind?

These critters don't kill our livestock or decimate our deer and elk herds. When wolves start interfering with our livelihood they will be killed off, just as they were before. They don’t mix with people and population.

Oh, predators. gotcha...

"People and population"....roger that.
 

James Riley

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"drive to protect species diversity and keep all the parts" I would not call that environmentalism, I would call that conservationism. My opinion.

What do you mean "wolves aren't cutting into our numbers to any substantial degree". Do you mean our elk and deer numbers?

1. Conservationism is fine by me. Call it what you want, it is a fundamental principle of environmentalism to preserve all the parts of the environment; to maintain a high level of biological diversity.

2. I mean wolves are not killing people. They are not cutting into our population of seven billion and growing. They are not a threat to our evolution. It is their absence which poses a threat to us: see paragraph number one.
 

sparker4

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I think the hole in your thinking is that wolves and grizzly bears (other species too) were targeted by human beings for removal. You have to think back to the time and how people lived. Farming and ranching was how most folks made a living back then. The wolves and the bears preyed on domesticated livestock, thus they were killed. If the same intensity of hunting was put forth for elk and/or deer (for example) the same would be true of them being eradicated. Man purposely targeted wolves and grizzly bears for removal. There certainly is not the same number of any species when the settlers first arrive in North America. Many species have drastically declined since the white man arrived on the North American Continent. There use to be a type of elk that lived in the eastern U.S., but they were killed off.

Yes sir, I don't disagree with any of that.
 

sparker4

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1. Conservationism is fine by me. Call it what you want, it is a fundamental principle of environmentalism to preserve all the parts of the environment; to maintain a high level of biological diversity.

2. I mean wolves are not killing people. They are not cutting into our population of seven billion and growing. They are not a threat to our evolution. It is their absence which poses a threat to us: see paragraph number one.

Thanks James, if that is a fundamental principle then to my great regret I guess I do share some environmental opinions :( As I said, I do believe there is a place for wolves. I do however not believe there is a place for the Fairy Shrimp, also on the ESA, that cost developers thousands and thousands of dollars each year in mitigation costs. At what expense/level do we say, that species just didn't make the cut? It is at junctures like this that in my opinion we just let it them go. And the statement made earlier that the extinction of species is largely due to man, I don’t buy that. 95% of all the species that have ever existed are now extinct. All those species existed long before man had his influence on this World.
 

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